Truex Has Another Chance To Shine On A Mile And A Half Track

Martin Truex, Jr.
If Martin Truex Jr. were in need of an elixir to cure any racing woes, Kansas Speedway’s 1.5-mile track would be the perfect remedy for the Furniture Row Racing driver.

Truex does indeed light up when discussing Kansas Speedway, knowing he has a special kinship with the racetrack; it’s also the closest track to Furniture Row Racing’s home base in Denver.

“There’s something about the track’s geometry and my driving style that suit each other,” explained Truex. “Back in 2007 we went there (to Kansas) and I just figured something out about that track late in the race and ended up having the fastest car. Even during the years when our cars didn’t seem to run so well we always for whatever reason were able to go there and run strong. Whether it was the old track, the new track with the repave and now the new track being weathered back in again.”

Though Truex will advance to the next playoff round as a result of winning in Charlotte two weeks ago, he still plans to attack Kansas Speedway’s mile-and-a-half oval with the same intensity that he has demonstrated throughout the season.

“There are seven bonus points up for grabs and we will take as many as we can get,” said Truex. “Hopefully we won’t have to use the banked bonus points next round, but in the event we do, we want to get as many as we can.”

Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota in Kansas, enters the Hollywood Casino 400 first in the driver point standings.

A six-time tour winner this season, Truex is looking to add another victory by scoring the double at Kansas. He won the spring race at Kansas and called it a “personal relief” after coming so close to a victory there a number of times.

“It was an awesome feeling,” said Truex about winning at Kansas. “Anytime you have challenges at a certain place and come out on top is very gratifying. I had a number of heartbreakers at that track so to finally get that first win just reminded me how many times we’ve been so close and how good we’ve been there over the years. Because of all that it made the victory that much sweeter.”

So far the entire NASCAR Cup season has been nothing short of sweet for Truex, who leads the series with wins (6), stage wins (19), playoff bonus points (64) and laps led (1977).

Prior to last week’s wreck-fest at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Truex was sitting on an awesome playoff finishing average. In the first four races of the playoffs he collected two wins, a fifth and a fourth for a finishing average of 2.76. At Talladega he was involved in a 16-car race-ending accident with 19 laps remaining and ended up with a 23rd-place finish. His playoff finishing average dropped to 6.8.

“We need to have a strong showing this weekend to go into the next round with some positive momentum,” noted Truex. “It’s nice not to worry about this weekend, but the three races in the next round (Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix) have been getting a lot of my attention lately.”


Truex Got Collected Up In One Of “The Big Ones” At Talladega

Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.’s victory last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway loomed even larger after the Furniture Row Racing driver was involved in a race-ending accident Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. He was credited with a 23rd-place finish.

Truex, who automatically earned a transfer into the next playoff round with the Charlotte win, was running in ninth place with 19 laps remaining in his No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, but then the spinning and wrecking started on Talladega’s 2.66-mile tri-oval.

Truex was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

When asked about the accident a candid Truex said, “Well I tried to get into a hole that was closing up at the wrong time and by the time that I got in the brakes trying to get out of there. I got into the 38 (David Ragan) a little bit on the right rear and he got squirrely out there and all hell broke loose. Just was trying to get to the end and get some track position and try to get towards the front and have a good day and ended up causing a wreck, so I hate it for everybody.

“We definitively had nothing to lose today, but at the same time you don’t want to be the person who causes others problems. Even though I feel like I’ve never been that guy here before it looks like today I was, so I hate it for all of those guys and all of their teams. I wish I didn’t make that mistake. Just 18 to go at Talladega, trying to get going and trying to fill a hole. Bad judgement and should have been more patient.”

Even with the 23rd-place finish, Truex remains first in playoff points with one race remaining in the Round of 12.

Truex’s Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones was also void of luck as his No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota was collected in an accident on Lap 27. He finished 36th.

“It was kind of hard to see from my view,” said Jones. “I was behind the 18 (Kyle Busch) and he started checking up, he swerved off to the left and the 1 (Jamie McMurray) was sitting there really slow on the race track so I didn’t really have any choice. Unfortunately ran him over and kind of caused a chain reaction from there. It’s a bummer. We didn’t get to race today and I was hoping we’d just get a chance to see what we had. It’s unfortunate, but those kind of things are going to happen here.”

The race winner was Brad Keselowski. Rounding out the top 10 were: Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Gray Gaulding and David Ragan.

The race had 11 cautions for 47 laps and three red flags that totaled approximately 35 minutes. There were 30 lead changes among 16 drivers. There were only 14 cars running at the end of the race.

The next race is Sunday, Oct. 22 at Kansas Speedway where Truex was victorious in May.


Furniture Row Racing Announces 2018 Sponsorship Package

co-primary photo
In a spirited partnership arrangement with Furniture Row Racing, Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY® have teamed to form a 30-race co-primary sponsorship on Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78 Toyota during the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season.

The No. 78 paint scheme, uniform design and official name of race car for the 30 races will work in the following manner.

·      For 16 selective races the orange-hued paint scheme will feature Bass Pro Shops as the dominant brand on the hood and 5-hour Energy as the dominant brand on the side of the car.

·      For another 14 selective races the red-hued paint scheme will showcase 5-hour ENERGY as the dominant brand on the hood and Bass Pro Shops as the dominant brand on the sides.

·      The color and primary design of the team fire suits for the 30 races will be the company which holds the dominant position on the hood of the Furniture Row Racing-owned Camry.

·      The official name of the car that will be submitted to NASCAR will be determined by which company is dominant on the hood. It will either be called the No. 78 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota or the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota.

With Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY co-sponsoring 30 races, Auto-Owners Insurance as primary sponsor for six other races and a pending announcement regarding the final two Cup events on the 2018 schedule, Truex’s No. 78 team will be fully sponsored next season.

In the spirit of the co-primary sponsorship Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY have formed a business-to-business relationship, which includes in-store sales and marketing rights.


Rise’ Meguiar, President of Sales for Living Essentials,
parent company of 5-hour ENERGY
“Furniture Row Racing has felt like home since we joined them in the summer of 2016,” said Rise’ Meguiar, president of sales for Living Essentials. “They have been amazing on track and even more so off the track.  Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 team have been on a championship level for a number of years and we are proud to take a prominent co-primary position on that car.  We are equally as excited about the new business and marketing partnership with Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops.  The ability to sell 5-hour ENERGY products within the Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores, as well as co-market to the millions of men and women who enjoy the outdoors, makes this a perfect sponsorship.  We could not be happier.”

Johnny Morris, noted conservationist, avid racing fan and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO
“Martin is a true champion on and off the racetrack and we are proud to continue supporting him and the No. 78 race team in 2018,” said Bass Pro Shops founder, CEO and avid racing fan Johnny Morris. “NASCAR is an excellent platform for Bass Pro Shops and we share in our customers’ enthusiasm and passion for racing. We’re very excited to continue our longstanding relationship with Martin Truex Jr., Barney Visser and our friends at Toyota.”

Barney Visser, Furniture Row Racing Owner
“This type of a co-primary sponsorship has been made a reality only because of the incredible cooperation between Johnny Morris and his Bass Pro team, along with Rise’ Meguiar and her 5-hour ENERGY team,” said Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser. “It took a number of conversations and a spirit of partnership to make this happen and we thank Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY for being open-minded to this concept. Bass Pro and 5-hour ENERGY are winning companies and we will do everything we can on the racetrack to provide them not only with a winning team but represent them in the highest standard. We also want to give a special thank you to Auto-Owners Insurance for its cooperation in moving markets around to enable this overall partnership with Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY to work.”

Martin Truex Jr., Driver No. 78 Toyota Camry
“I am looking forward to continuing my association with Bass Pro Shops and my good friend Johnny Morris and building a bigger and stronger relationship with 5-hour ENERGY,” said Truex. “The sponsorship package is a neat concept and it will be our responsibility to make sure we deliver both on and off the track for these highly-visible and successful companies.”


Martin Truex, Jr. Punches His Ticket To The Round Of Eight

Martin Truex, Jr.

The only thing typical about Martin Truex Jr.’s performance at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the win!

The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team screwed up in qualifying on Friday—a rare occurrence in a remarkable season for the series leader.

Truex failed to score points in the first stage of Sunday’s Bank of America 500, the first race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s Round of 12. That marked the first time since Daytona in July that Truex had finished outside the top 10 in Stage 1 of a race. But with the event winding down, the series leader was back in his usual spot, at the front of the field. Truex survived two late restarts, the last in overtime, to win for a series-best six times this season, the second time at Charlotte and the 13th time in his career.

“We qualified horribly, and I was mad about it,” said Truex, who started 17th instead of his customary position on or near the front row. (Crew chief) Cole (Pearn) was mad about it and in 20 minutes we’re like ‘All right, I think this is where we went wrong.’ And he’s like ‘Yeah, that’s where we went wrong. We screwed up, we’ll get them Sunday.’”

That’s exactly what Truex did, with substantial help from his pit crew, which picked up positions on every stop and finally got Truex the lead on Lap 234 during an exchange of green-flag pit stops where he leap-frogged past Kevin Harvick into the top spot.

“Unbelievable win,” Truex said. “Just a total team effort. Every single guy – every guy on this team just did a perfect job today, and I can’t be more proud of them—and this time of the year is just when you want it to happen.

“You dream about days like today. I don’t know if we had the best car, but we damn sure got it in Victory Lane.”

At the end of the two-lap shootout that sent the race three laps past its scheduled distance of 334 laps, Truex took the checkered flag 0.911 seconds ahead of runner-up Chase Elliott, who finished second for the second consecutive week and third time in the last four races.

“We needed to be a little better I think in the middle stage and not lose so much track position,” said Elliott, who was ninth in both the first and second stages. “That was where Martin came on and got his track position, and we lost ours, and it was just hard to get all of it back there toward the end.

“It was a hard-fought day and really, from where we were in those middle stages, I was proud of the way we fought back and were able to get back to the front. It’s frustrating to run like this. We’re definitely tired of running second. But, if we keep running like we are, hopefully the opportunities will be there.”

Still looking for his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, Elliott has finished second four times this season and six times in his fledgling career.

Harvick ran third after leading a race-high 149 laps and hounding Truex from a restart on Lap 284 until NASCAR called a caution for debris on Lap 325. Harvick lost four spots on pit road under yellow on Lap 327 and never recovered.

Truex surged ahead from the restart on Lap 329, but Kurt Busch’s spin off Turn 2 on Lap 332 caused the 10th caution and forced the overtime. Again Truex pulled away, and Elliott passed polesitter Denny Hamlin for the second spot. Ultimately, Hamlin came home fourth behind Harvick, with Jamie McMurray trailing in fifth.

Truex leaves Charlotte with a guaranteed spot in the Playoff’s Round of 8 and a 34-point lead in the standings over second-place Kyle Larson, who ran 10th on Sunday in one of the race’s fastest cars after two pit road glitches and contact from Kurt Busch’s car during the Lap 325 spin.

Kyle Busch squandered his advantage in playoff points when he smacked the outside wall in Turn 4 and brought out the fifth caution on Lap 136. With a resulting 29th-place finish, Busch fell from second to sixth in the standings, only 12 points clear of ninth-place Matt Kenseth, with treacherous and unpredictable Talladega on the schedule for next Sunday.

Only 25 points separate Elliott in fourth place from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 12th, with Talladega all but certain to scramble the standings before the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway two weeks later.

Check out the unofficial results of the Bank America 500 at Charlotte.


All Systems Are Go For Martin Truex, Jr.

Martin Truex, Jr.
Following last Sunday’s race in Dover, Martin Truex Jr. said, “I am looking forward to the next round of the playoffs and feel good about where this Furniture Row Racing team is at right now.”

Truex, who will drive the blue No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, has facts to back up his optimistic feeling.

For starters he enters the Round of 12 playoffs as the points leader, an 18-point margin over second place Kyle Busch.

Truex is also coming off the Round of 16 with the best three-race finishing average of 3.3. His consistent finishes in the first round were: first at Chicagoland Speedway, fifth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and fourth at Dover International Speedway.

And high on the optimistic list is two of the three races in the second playoff round will be at 1.5-mile tracks where Truex has been at his strongest. Four of his five wins this season have come at the mile-and-a-half tracks – Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky and Chicagoland.

With his recent success at Charlotte’s 1.5-mile oval Truex couldn’t ask for a better venue to kick off the playoff round. In his last five races at Charlotte, Truex has a victory, four top fives, and has led a total of 756 laps. Of the 756 laps led, 392 came during his dominant victory in the May 2016 Coca-Cola 600. In this year’s Coke 600, he finished third and led 233 laps.

Kansas, the third race of the second round, is another 1.5-miler where Truex has had success, winning there in May with a strong performance.

“I am definitely looking forward to Charlotte and Kansas,” said Truex, who has set career season highs for wins (5), top fives (13) and laps led (1886). “A win would be great at either one of those tracks, but we just need to be consistent, be among the leaders fighting for the win and picking up those valuable stage points as well as playoff points.

“And then there’s Talladega (second race in the Round of 12). Anything can happen there. It’s a wildcard race. We have not had much success there lately, but if we can avoid the wrecks and mechanical issues we should be ok. It’s a crazy race that can either make or break you from entering the next round of the playoffs.”

Truex’s Cup record at Charlotte Motor Speedway includes 24 starts, one victory, four top fives and eight top 10s. His four top fives have come in the last five races. His average start at Charlotte is 17.0 and average finish is 15.7.


Truex Fought For A Fourth Place Finish At Dover

Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. earned a hard-fought fourth-place finish as he continued his playoff consistency Sunday in the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Truex, who started from the pole and led three times for 51 laps in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota, had some handling issues that prevented him from chasing down the leader.

“We were off a bit today,” said Truex. “The short-run, long-run speed weren’t quite there and the balance of the Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota shifted way too much. I thought maybe we should have been second or third, but that last run just really went away on us. It is what it is. When you run fourth and you’re disappointed it shows what your team is made of. Proud of everyone, they did a good job all weekend.”

The good news for Truex is that he enters the next round of the playoffs first in points – 3059, an 18-point lead over second place Kyle Busch. The three playoff races in the Round of 12 will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 8), Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 15) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 22). The top eight drivers will advance to the next round. (see points standings below)

Truex completed the first round of the playoffs with a 3.3 finishing average, the best finishing average among the 16 playoff drivers. His fourth-place Dover finish was preceded with a victory at Chicagoland Speedway (Sept.  17) and a fifth in New Hampshire (Sept. 24).

“I am looking forward to the next round and feel good about where this Furniture Row Racing team is at right now,” said Truex, a five-time winner on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit this season. “We just need to maintain our consistency.”

The Apache Warrior 400 winner was Kyle Busch. Rounding out the top 10 were: Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Truex, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Daniel Suarez, Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski.

The race had four cautions for 24 laps plus a red flag for nearly 16 minutes. There were 15 lead changes among six drivers.


It Is Good To Be On Top

Martin Truex, Jr.
What’s it like to come to the race track knowing you’ll have one of the fastest cars every single week—even at venues that historically haven’t been your best?

Martin Truex Jr. now knows the answer to that question. The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota has enjoyed a dream season in 2017, winning a series-best five times and pacing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led (1,835), stages won (19) and Playoff points accumulated (59).

Truex got a taste of success last year when he won four races and led 1,809 laps, but the surfeit of strong finishes hasn’t dulled his appetite for more.

And at this point, he seems to have inherited the expectation of speed from seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who was the dominant force in stock car racing from 2006 through 2010, when he won five of his titles in consecutive years.

Truex, on the other hand, won three races in his first 10 full seasons of Cup racing, before his pairing with crew chief Cole Pearn at Furniture Row Racing provided the critical mass for a meteoric ascent to the top of the sport.

And Truex is enjoying the view.

“I actually think I’ve talked to Jimmie about this before, you know, years ago at Champion’s Week or something,” Truex said. “I think every driver thinks about it at this level when you get here. It takes so many things to come together to be in a position that I’ve been in the past two years really, so, yeah, I’m very thankful and I’m definitely enjoying it.

“I’m trying to enjoy every single week one at a time. At the same time, there’s that chance at a championship out there, so you can’t lose focus and say, ‘Well, this is going great. We’re just going to show up to the track and everything is going to be fine.’ You still have to work hard. It’s still difficult.”

Truex underscored the importance of keeping his eye on the larger prize.


Martin Truex, Jr. Takes The Pole At Dover

Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. won the pole and his Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones qualified 10th for Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Truex drove the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota on Friday to a final-round lap of 22.407 seconds at 160.664 mph on the high-banked 1-mile concrete oval. He was 17th in the first round and seventh in the second round.

It was the second pole and 24th top-10 start of the season for Truex, the playoff point leader. It’s also his 14th career pole and third at Dover.

“It’s awesome to get the pole,” said Truex. “We kept on working on the car all day and put it together when it counted. My timing was off the first two rounds, but came close to having a flawless run in the final round. It wasn’t perfect, but it got us the pole and No. 1 pit stall for Sunday. We’ll work on our race trim package tomorrow and get the Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota dialed in for the race. This is my home track and I love racing here.”

Jones’ pole-round lap in the No. 77 SiriusXM Toyota was 22.622 at 159.137. He was ninth in the first round and 11th in the second. He will line up on the outside of Row 5 for Sunday’s 400-lap, 400-mile race.

“We struggled the first two rounds getting a decent balance and then, when we got it off the splitter, it was a little bit different than what we had in the first two,” said Jones. “We just struggled all day in qualifying trim. We couldn’t find the balance we needed. We’ll work hard on race trim tomorrow but it was still a top-10 starting spot so it’s somewhere good to work from.”

The balance of the top 12 qualifiers were: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Jones, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.


Martin Truex, Jr. Gives Spinal Cord Injured A Day To Be Remember

Jason Doyle
The giddy smiles said it all after spinal cord injured participants took a 135 mile per hour spin at Dover International Speedway with Martin Truex Jr. in an adaptive race car donated by Furniture Row Racing.

Kelly Brush, a paraplegic and skier from Charlotte, Vt. was one of the 10 participants Thursday, who got to experience the thrill of a few laps around the Monster Mile.

“What an incredible experience to say the least,” beamed Brush after exiting the race car. “What struck me was how loud it was. It was so fast I was pressed up against the side of the door the whole time. It was awesome, a really cool experience. I kept thinking Martin won’t hit the wall because that would be really bad but it felt like he was going to. I now know he was just taking a casual ride. He goes a lot faster in his race car.”

Brush and other spinal cord injured got to drive the car which had special hand controls linked to the accelerator and braking.

“It’s neat to see how Dr. Falci and his team are using technology involving racing and race cars,” said Truex, who is the points leader in the NASCAR Cup driver point standings. “For me honestly it was just fun to take these guys for a ride to show them a little of what we do and giving them a feel for the Monster Mile. I had a great time.”

Known as NeuroGroove RaceDay, the event is a program aligned with Falci Adaptive Biosystems and its cutting edge technology to maximize the impact of bringing mobility to paraplegic, quadriplegic and disabled individuals. The founder of the program is Dr. Scott Falci, chief neurosurgeon at Craig Hospital in Denver.

“It brings a huge smile to my face just watching their joy,” said Falci about the reaction by the spinal cord injured after the race car ride. “For me it is so inspirational. We’re making progress in baby steps, but adaptive technology can really improve their lives. When you’re spinal cord injured there are so many things you may not be able to do – walk, feed yourself, make a call on a cell phone, cook for yourself so anything that can make their lives easier is extremely helpful.

“A special thank you goes out to Barney Visser (Furniture Row Racing owner) for donating the adaptive race car and to all of the Furniture Row Racing personnel who helped in the construction of the car. They made this day possible and everyone greatly appreciates their involvement.”

Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing said, “This is an awesome project for Furniture Row Racing to be associated with. To be involved in a project that actually makes a difference in somebody’s life makes us feel really satisfied to take part in this kind of a program. Stay tuned, there’s a lot more exciting things to come. Technology is rapidly advancing.”


Truex And Furniture Row Racing Showing Their Strength

Martin Teuex,Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. and his Furniture Row Racing team have displayed their mettle in the first two playoff starts, rallying from adversity in each race to finish first at Chicagoland Speedway and fifth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Truex would like to have a less troublesome ride in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota during the next playoff race Sunday – the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway. But the Mayetta, N.J. native is all too familiar with the pitfalls of the 1-mile, all-concrete oval, which he calls his home track.

“Though we had strong finishes the past two weekends, it sure didn’t come easy,” noted Truex. “We had a speeding penalty in Chicago and got collected in a multicar accident in New Hampshire. Some might have thought we were doomed in each race, but this team has a special kind of fight and it sure paid off with our finishes.

“Dover is one my favorite tracks, but at the same time it’s a place where things can happen quickly and knock you out of the race.”

Truex has proved he knows how to maneuver the Dover 1-mile oval known as the Monster Mile. His first career Cup victory was at Dover (spring 2007) and he is the defending champion of the fall race. Dover is also one of two tracks (Chicagoland the other) where he has had multiple Cup wins.

“Dover might be challenging but I love everything about the track,” said Truex, who finished third in the spring Dover race after winning the first two stages. “I feel we’ll have another fast car that will be competitive on Sunday. There are playoff points up for grabs and we want to get as many as we can.”

Truex enters Sunday’s final playoff race in the first round with the driver points lead. He already has secured a berth in the next round (Round of 12) which starts Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Truex’s career record at Dover includes: 23 starts, two wins, three top fives, 12 top 10s, two poles and 694 laps led. His average start at Dover is 12.1 and average finish is 13.7.